Baseline ecological risk assessment of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana: 3. An evaluation of the risks to benthic invertebrates associated with exposure to contaminated sediments

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
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Abstract

The sediments in the Calcasieu Estuary are contaminated with a wide variety of chemicals of potential concern (COPCs), including heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, phthalates, chlorinated benzenes, and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans. The sources of these COPCs include both point and non-point source discharges. As part of a baseline ecological risk assessment, the risks to benthic invertebrates posed by exposure to sediment-associated COPCs were assessed using five lines of evidence, including whole-sediment chemistry, pore-water chemistry, whole-sediment toxicity, pore-water toxicity, and benthic invertebrate community structure. The results of this assessment indicated that exposure to whole sediments and/or pore water from the Calcasieu Estuary generally posed low risks to benthic invertebrate communities (i.e., risks were classified as low for 68% of the sampling locations investigated). However, incremental risks to benthic invertebrates (i.e., compared with those associated with exposure to conditions in reference areas) were indicated for 32% of the sampling locations within the estuary. Of the three areas of concern (AOCs) investigated, the risks to benthic invertebrates were highest in the Bayou d'Inde AOC; risks were generally lower in the Upper Calcasieu River AOC and Middle Calcasieu River AOC. The areas showing the highest risks to sediment-dwelling organisms were generally located in the vicinity of point source discharges of COPCs. These results provided risk managers with the information required to make decisions regarding the need for remedial actions at the site.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Baseline ecological risk assessment of the Calcasieu Estuary, Louisiana: 3. An evaluation of the risks to benthic invertebrates associated with exposure to contaminated sediments
Series title Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
DOI 10.1007/s00244-010-9638-7
Volume 61
Issue 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Contaminant Biology Program, Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 29 p.
First page 29
Last page 58
Country United States
State Louisiana
Other Geospatial Calcasieu Estuary